The main part of an Episcopal Church service is the Eucharist, which may also be called “the Mass”, “Communion”, or, “The Lord’s Supper.” This is one of two sacraments instituted by Jesus Himself, the other being Holy Baptism. We believe that all baptized persons are welcome to receive and participate in the sharing of Holy Communion. If you are not baptized, you are still warmly welcomed to the communion rail to receive a special prayer of blessing. Just cross your arms across your chest so the priest knows you are not receiving.
If you are interested in receiving the sacrament of Baptism, please make arrangements to meet with Fr. Jim. Infants, children and adults are all invited to obey Jesus in taking this important step. There will be two or three meetings with the Rector to discuss commitment to following Christ as Savior and Lord. Baptisms are traditionally scheduled on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus (in January); on the Day of Pentecost (in May), or, on the Sunday after All Saint’s Sunday (in November). However, there is no hard and fast rule and a baptism is certainly possible at other times.
If you feel the need to receive this sacrament (formerly referred to as “Confession”), make arrangements with Fr. Jim. If you would prefer to make confession to a priest from another parish, Fr. Jim can arrange it. This is an important, powerful and absolutely confidential moment in the lives of Christian disciples. It is not mandatory, however. The old saying about confession is certainly apt: “All may, none must, some should.”
Once called “unction”, “extreme unction” or “last rites,” this sacrament has been poorly understood by both clergy and the laity. To be anointed for healing in time of illness is not simply something done in the last moments of our earthly sojourn. Instituted in the letter of St. James, anointing may or may not take place after a confession. Ideally, it happens in community with the priest and other leaders of the church (called “elders” in the Scriptures) laying hands on a sick person and praying “the prayer of faith.” Any member or guest of our parish may receive this sacrament.
A Funeral mass, memorial service and interment in our columbarium are all possibilities. While burial is not considered a sacrament, St. Philip’s nonetheless cares deeply about people who are grieving and we are eager to support you. Please contact the office for more information. The brochure on our columbarium is available by clicking here.